Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is running out of ad inventory, warned Mari Smith, Facebook guru, at last month’s Unbounce Conference. As the site has grown — it just surpassed the 2-billion-member mark — Smith believes it’s “time to rethink your Facebook marketing goals for 2017.”
Creating More Effective Facebook Ads
First, to improve your Facebook advertising results, remember everything you do on Facebook needs to be optimized for mobile viewing, since about 90 percent of Facebook users are viewing the platform on mobile devices.
Smith says, “It’s getting harder to cut though” all the noise on the social platform, so you need to reassess what you want to get out of Facebook and your KPIs (key performance indicators). Ask yourself these questions: Are you trying to grow likes, get exposure in the News Feeds or optimize reach? Are you even measuring the “right” things? Is your audience engaging with your ads, or are you wasting money buying Facebook ads?
To be more effective on Facebook, Smith says you need to develop a cohesive marketing approach, which includes a post-sale customer care plan and an end-to-end strategy. The key, she adds, is to make sure your approach is integrated. Having silos will derail your progress.
The good news, of course, is small businesses have the flexibility to be more nimble. They can more quickly create a cohesive strategy and discover what is and isn’t working for them on the social platform.
Smith also advises you to look for some middle ground in how you approach your Facebook marketing. On one end, there are the numbers-based marketers who just see the numbers, and on the other end are the heart-based marketers who just see people and emotions. Try to strike a balance, but striking emotions is a far more effective way to reach consumers.
After you determine your new goals (or tweak your original ones) it’s time to take a deeper dive into content, Smith advises. A strong Facebook presence starts with great content. And a lot of that content going forward will be video. Smith cited a study from Buffer, a social media management company, showing video posts on Facebook get about three times the engagement as regular posts. Today, most Facebook posts (about 80 percent, Smith says) are links, while 19 percent are photos. Less than one percent are videos, so she believes this is a good time to get in on the ground floor of this shift and establish your own video Facebook network.
Plus, she adds, use square-formatted videos (instead of landscape mode) to get more views, likes and shares. Smith cited an A/B test the Jane Goodall Institute conducted where it received nearly twice as many views and more than twice as many Facebook shares from a square video promotion.
When formulating your Facebook content strategy, Smith says most Facebook posts are brands “shouting at people to buy my stuff.” Instead she advises you to think “evergreen” — posts that can seem fresh months (or even years) later. To create successful Facebook content, your message needs to:
- Be high energy,
- Evoke emotion,
- Be designed to be viewed with the sound off,
- Include lower-third highlights,
- Include captions (use Facebook’s caption generator).
Your goal, Smith says, is to create “thumb-stopping content” (content that’s “awesome enough to stop the thumbs” of mobile surfers).
Smith advises business owners take advantage of some of the numerous tools that exist to help you create standout content, including:
And, most important, warns Smith, you must provide “excellent customer service.” Even a few negative posts or feedback about your company can negate all the hard work you’ve put in.